THE VORTEX STRIKE EAGLE1-8X24 RIFLESCOPE IS ASTOUNDING FOR A FEW REASONS

First, the ginormous 8x magnification range it offers is still pretty new on the market, and there are few players offering such technology. In fact, even 6x scopes are still relatively new, with manufacturers introducing this new-to-them technology every year. The 6x-range scopes still have a lot of staying power, and new introductions are not yet late to the game.

 

The 1-8×24 scope itself grew a bit over the 1-6x version by about a half-inch in length and a little over 1 ounce—not much to notice.

But the 8x range has been offered by select few others so far—and fewer still below the nosebleed-high price level. Several of these 8x scopes deliver significant distortion and tunnel vision at lowest powers. The Strike Eagles do not.

I first used a 6x magnification range scope when preparing for an elk hunt in Colorado with Burris Optics in 2009. That newly introduced Six X 2 -12×40 on my Weatherby helped me collect a nice elk. My confidence on that hunt was increased by using the then-new 6x magnification range technology that produced a huge field of view at 2x, to an image large enough at 12x for comfortable shots at 300 yards and beyond.

The Amazing Strike Eagle

What a very useable difference from the older, favorite 3.5-10x scopes I used a lot. And the Strike Eagle featured here has an even greater 8x magnification range.

Another reason the Strike Eagle is astounding is the sub-$400 street price. New technology costs money, and to be one of the first on the market with it costs even more. For an 8x scope from a reputable company to be this affordable should make your head spin. The flip-up caps are included, but the Vortex SV-2 Switchview (made by MGM Targets) throw lever shown here is available as an accessory for about 50 bucks. The attractive Strike Eagle has a pleasing and uniform satin-black color.

“THIS SCOPE WAS EXCEPTIONAL AND BETTER THAN THE SEVERAL 1-6X STRIKE EAGLES I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW. IT WAS SILKY-SMOOTH FROM ‘LOW’ TO ‘HIGH’ POWER, WITH NOTHING IN BETWEEN BUT BUTTER. THE SWITCHVIEW THROW LEVER MAKES IT FEEL EVEN SILKIER.”

I play with or test most scopes on the market eventually for some reason or another, and there’s a lot more to scopes than meet the eye, so to speak.

Like Butter

Actually looking through the scope is the last thing I do. I first go about moving the magnification ring from stop to stop, feeling through my fingertips for grinding, hard spots or loosening from initial use, how it positively stops when at the limits— and, overall, how happy it makes me feel. This scope was exceptional and better than the several 1-6x Strike Eagles I’ve gotten to know. It was silky-smooth from “low” to “high” power, with nothing in between but butter. The Switchview throw lever makes it feel even silkier.

“ANOTHER REASON THE STRIKE EAGLE IS ASTOUNDING IS THE SUB-$400 STREET PRICE. NEW TECHNOLOGY COSTS MONEY, AND TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST ON THE MARKET WITH IT COSTS MORE.”

The next thing I do is test the turrets. These turrets have no fancy stuff; just solid tactile and audible clicks exactly how you hope they would be on all scopes but rarely are. These move as surely as the clicks on a mini Snap-On ratchet. The turrets are low and capped. The retail price is kept as low as possible by omitting frills, and the turret is a case in point. The minimalist in me appreciates how they only move the centered reticle and don’t pull up, twist or have a zero-stop, buttons or anything unnecessary. Once your gun is sighted in, use your fingernail or screwdriver to rotate the adjustment dial on the turret top to zero and recap. Shoot. Repeat.

I tested the adjustments on a tape measure at 100 yards. A full revolution of the turrets moved the reticle the correct 46 inches (44 real MOA). They were perfectly repeatable. The 100-yard factory parallax setting made little difference, even when using it at much nearer .22 LR ranges—although parallax error is apparent at high power at closer distances. The Vortex Precision cantilever mount I used to mount the scope was made by American Defense Manufacturing and returned to zero within an inch every time.

The Strike Eagle is silky-smooth from low to high power; the Switchview throw lever makes it feel even silkier.

The third turret on the left side adjusts reticle brightness. It is marked from 1 to 11 and has no “off” position between numbers. Install your CR2032 battery here for 150 hours of use. There is an extra battery holder neatly ensconced in the windage turret cap. The glass-etched second focal plane AR-BDC2 reticle corresponds to most 5.56/.223 and 7.62/.308 ballistics, and the large circle that Vortex calls a “halo” draws your eye to the center for quick acquisition on large or moving targets.

Top Contender

The 1-8×24 scope itself grew a bit over its older brother—the 1-6x version of the Strike Eagle. More magnifcation range means more parts, so the 1-8x grew by about a half-inch in length and a little over 1 ounce. Not much difference to notice. The field of view on “low” power lessened by 0.1 inch, and the 3.5-inch eye relief stayed constant.

Optical quality is also very good. This Strike Eagle would be a perfect match for an AR and the way most shooters use them. It will be a fun choice for plinking and range use, as well as a great starter competition optic. The versatility makes it a superb choice for pig hunting in most conditions.

“THE SCOPE’S NO-FRILLS APPROACH APPEALS TO THE SHOOTING MINIMALIST AS WELL AS KEEPING ITS PRICE POINT LOW.”

If you’re looking for the most useful and enjoyable single AR optic to spend your hard-earned money on, this would be a top contender.

VORTEX STRIKE EAGLE 1-8X24 MAGNIFICATION: 1-8X24

MAGNIFICATION: 1-8X
EYE RELIEF: 3.5 INCHES
FIELD OF VIEW: 116.6–14.4 FEET/100 YARDS
TUBE SIZE: 30MM
TURRET STYLE: CAPPED
ADJUSTMENT GRADUATION: ½ MOA
TRAVEL PER ROTATION: 44 MOA
MAXIMUM ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT: 100 MOA
MAXIMUM WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT: 100 MOA
PARALLAX SETTING: 100 YARDS
LENGTH: 10 INCHES
WEIGHT: 16.5 OUNCES
BATTERY: CR2032

MSRP: $499.99
URL: VORTEXOPTICS.COM

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July-August print issue of World of Firepower magazine.